Learning: Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

KSA (Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities [sometimes referred to as SKA]) are characteristics that enables a job holder to accomplish the activities described in a task statement (what the job holder does).

In a learning environment, cognitive, psychomotor, & affective are KSA’s counterparts that identify end states of training (objectives).

Learning Outcome Typology
For more detail, see Kraiger, et al. (1993).

Cognitive (knowledge)
Verbal Knowledge – factual and declarative knowledge (propositional knowledge) knowledge
Knowledge Organization – how information and concepts are mentally arranged
Metacognitive Strategies – allocation and regulation of cognitive resources
Skill-Based (psychomotor)
Compilation – routine development and procedure linkage
Automaticity – ability to perform a task without Conscious monitoring and with other tasks
Affective (attitudes)
Attitude – attitude about learning, self-efficacy, perception about ability to perform, and goal setting
Motivation – motivational disposition
Kraiger, K., Ford, J., & Salas, E. (1993). Application of cognitive, skill-based, and affective theories of learning outcomes to new methods of training evaluation. Journal of Applied Psychology, 78, 311-328.

Quinones, Miguel A. and Ehrenstein, ADDIE (1997). Training for a Rapidly Changing Workplace: Applications of Psychological Research. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association, p. 154.

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